turning an empty next to a double-twin guest room

Written by guest blogger Dane O'Leary from Modernize.com

image via houseandgarden.co.uk

Every fall, countless parents pack up their college freshman and move them into their dorms and temporary undergraduate residences. The coming-of-age of children is very much bittersweet for the parents. Oftentimes there's a touch of empty nest syndrome as chicks fly the coop, but there's good news, too; this means regaining the time and freedom that was sacrificed for nearly two decades in the name of parenting. 

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image via bhg.com

Leaving the nest means parents have the opportunity to convert old bedrooms into something new and perhaps more useful. While creating a sewing room or home gym is always an option, turning an old bedroom into a guest room serves the dual purpose of giving you a means to accommodating visitors while ensuring that your visiting chicks always have a place to stay as well. In fact, guest rooms with two twin beds have become a popular way to utilize forfeited bedrooms because they provide plenty of space for guests, are ideal for both couples and non-couple visitors, and allow kids to bring a friend home from college if they so choose. 

Consider these tips for turning an empty nest into a great double-twin guest room:

image via oomphonline.com

Recycling Existing Furniture

When your kid leaves their bedroom behind, they'll often have packed up their clothing and essentials, but leave behind much of their furniture. Dorm rooms are usually furnished, which means the college-bound don't need to take much in the way of furniture. You could either sell it, donate it, pack it up in case they do need any of it in the future, or you could see if any cast-offs could be repurposed into something that would go great in your new guest room. 

image via thezhush.blogspot.com

Unless it's a twin, the existing bed likely won't be of much use. Look at peripherals like chests-of-drawers, nightstands, armoires, and things like that. These are pieces that could possibly be used in their existing form, or you might prefer to refinish them by sanding them down and staining or painting them another color. This will require some level of planning for your guest room so you'll know it's intended style and color palette, but recycling and refinishing can be a fun way to create your desired look with custom pieces. 

image via shelterness.com

A Bold Opportunity

Speaking of the design, there are generally two ways to approach the decor of a guest bedroom. On the one hand, since this a space you won't personally be using very often, you could use this as an opportunity to take risks, choosing styles and colors that you wouldn't normally use in decor. If you tend to prefer traditional decor, you might consider styling this new guest space so that it's more contemporary, or perhaps an industrial, urban look. Thinking outside the box and utilizing types of design that are outside your typical comfort zone can be a lot of fun and perhaps a great form of therapy for an empty nester.

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image via domianehome.com

Two Twin Beds

Having two separate beds has become one of the preferred guest room setups. It's popular because having two twin beds allows two guests that are not a couple to have separate beds in which they can each sleep rather than having to bunk together in a single bed. This also means that you could have two single visitors at the same time, assuming they're both family and wouldn't mind staying in the same room. Visiting college students will likely bring friends or a candidate spouse other home for visits or to meet the family, and it's more appropriate–or perhaps just gives the parents more peace of mind–to have separate accommodations. 

image via nousdecor.com

Twin beds are typically much less expensive than larger beds. Additionally, there smaller size allows you to have two separate beds even in a somewhat limited space. You can either buy the whole setup–mattresses, frames, headboards–or forego the headboards if you want to save money or prefer the no-headboard look. 

image via bhg.com

Thanks so much to Dane O'Leary! 

For more design ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.